2 and Out CFL Free Agency predictions

With CFL Free Agency beginning on Feb. 9 at noon E.T., 2 and Out writers Kyle Marshall and Troy Durrell took a look at the league’s pending free agents and predicted where they might land once they are free to sign their names on the dotted line.


McLeod Bethel-Thompson

Probably the best QB still available, the 2019 leader in passing touchdowns has yet to find a home. Bethel-Thompson opted out of his contract with the Argos in August to pursue an NFL opportunity and doesn’t have a whole lot of choices when it comes to CFL teams. The Argos and Bombers have really the most questionable QB situations.

Now, I know what you’re saying. The Bombers have Zach Collaros and the Argos have Nick Arbuckle, why would they bring in another capable pivot? Keep in mind that Collaros is one concussion away from retirement and Arbuckle has said he’s going to have to earn the starter’s job.

Prediction: Toronto. This is the team where he’ll have the best shot at starting. Anywhere else, he will likely be relegated to a backup role. Plus, they know him well. It just makes sense.

Solomon Elimimian

The former MOP had another great season in 2019, his first in the green and white. He sat third in defensive tackles with 88, putting him on pace for another 100-tackle season, while adding four sacks, his highest total since 2016.

In terms of teams most likely to get him; Toronto, Saskatchewan, Edmonton and Montreal seem to have the biggest need for linebackers on their rosters and Elimimian would be a welcome addition to any of them.

Prediction: Montreal. Imagine a backfield with Elimimian, Henoc Muamba, Taylor Loffler and Ciante Evans, provided the other three re-sign. The Als could be the team that comes out of the East.

Almondo Sewell

The hulking defensive lineman has racked up 282 tackles in 139 career games in the CFL. In 2019, he recorded eight sacks, his highest total since the 2016 season, and added 35 tackles. 

Sewell himself tweeted on Saturday that he would be signing with a team in the East after spending his entire nine-year career with the Edmonton Football Team. He is also a six-time league all-star and Grey Cup champion with Edmonton in 2015.

Prediction: Montreal. The departure of John Bowman after 14 years opens the door for Sewell to go to the Als. Even though they don’t play exactly the same position, Sewell would still fit in well on that defensive line.

John White IV

The University of Utah product had the most productive season of his CFL career in 2019, rushing for just over 1,000 yards in his first season with the Lions. He spent 2018 with the Ti-Cats after being released by Edmonton, where he put up 2,110 yards on 376 carries over his four seasons in the Alberta capital.

The teams with the biggest need at running back seem to be Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and BC. A reunion with Edmonton seems unlikely and in Toronto, he might have to shoulder a lot of the offensive load with the QB position in question.

Prediction: If he doesn’t go back to BC, the most logical place for White to land would be Calgary, after the Stamps lost Don Jackson to the Ti-Cats.

Henoc Muamba

The 31-year-old from Mississauga has dominated the last three seasons, finishing second in tackles in both 2018 and 2019 and in the top ten in 2017. Muamba has amassed 486 tackles in 108 career games and has added 75 special teams tackles.

Any team could slot the former first overall pick into their backfield and immediately become a better ball club, but he is a piece of the defensive puzzle that the Als can’t afford to let go.

Prediction: Montreal. These predictions have been a little Alouettes heavy, in admission, but after losing the likes of Patrick Levels, Chris Ackie and Tommy Campbell after 2019, the Als need to treat their pass rushers as a valuable commodity.


Evan Johnson

The 26-year-old Johnson should have fielded a ton of offers during the CFL’s legal tampering period from teams looking for a solid, ratio-breaking guard that won’t be re-signing in the Nation’s Capital.

As we saw in Super Bowl LV and the 107th Grey Cup, games are won and lost in the trenches and if you don’t have above average line play, your team isn’t going to win very many games. Every team in the CFL will be looking to beef up their offensive line and having a proven Canadian starter will be at the top of almost everyone’s list.

Prediction: Saskatchewan. This first prediction is a layup. The 2017 first round pick to the Ottawa REDBLACKS is going to end up signing with the Roughriders. He’s from Regina, he played his university days at the University of Saskatchewan and fills a need for the Riders after losing the likes of Dakoda Shepley and Dariusz Bladek. There’s been rumours that this will take place and it’s the only logical landing spot for the high calibre starter, who will fit in nicely on the Saskatchewan offensive line.

Larry Dean

There will be a lot of proven middle linebackers available such as Henoc Muamba and Solomon Elimimian as Kyle pointed out. One who I believe is flying under the radar a bit in Larry Dean, who has spent time in both Hamilton and Edmonton.

Dean registered 86 tackles and one sack with Edmonton in 2019, while putting up 279 tackles, five sacks and three interceptions in three previous seasons in Hamilton. He would be a great consolation prize for any team that’s looking to fill a need at middle linebacker, but missed out on either Elimimian or Muamba.

Prediction: Saskatchewan. With the Ticats most recent signing of Jovan Santos-Knox and rumours surrounding them taking a run at Elimimian, I think it makes sense if Dean went west and suited up for the green and white.

Micah Johnson

Statistically speaking, 2019 wasn’t the year that we all expected from Saskatchewan’s Micah Johnson. His four sacks were his lowest total since 2014 with Calgary and he only suited up for six games that season. In 2018, he registered a career-best 14 sacks with the Stamps en-route to helping Calgary win the Grey Cup.

He has been very durable the last several seasons, missing only five games since 2016 and has registered 184 tackles, 45 sacks, two interceptions and six forced fumbles in his seven year tenure. While he might not hit double digit sacks again, I think Johnson is primed for a bounce back season.

Prediction: Winnipeg. This one might be a bit of a stretch, considering I would imagine the Bombers are pressed up hard against the cap, but there have a hole that needs to be filled along their defensive line with Drake Nevis taking off to Toronto. Plus, could you picture the havoc the likes of Willie Jefferson, Micah Johnson and Jackson Jeffcoat would create? Woof.

Matt O’Donnell

The biggest free agent in size is one of the best offensive lineman in the CFL in my opinion. The 6’11, 350 pound behemoth who can play both guard and tackle will have many suitors in free agency.

The Comox, British Columbia native has played parts of eight seasons with the Edmonton Football Team, winning a Grey Cup with the team in 2015 while being named a CFL All-Star in 2017 as well as a CFL West Division All-Star in both 2017 and 2019. He has only missed a total of 15 games in his CFL career, a pretty impressive feat for an every down lineman.

Prediction: Hamilton. With the departure of All-Star tackle Ryker Mathews last off-season when he signed in BC and the potential loss of Mike Filer, the Ticats could be in need of a starting calibre offensive lineman, especially one that can play multiple positions. Hamilton could potentially play former second overall pick Jesse Gibbons at centre or they could bump either Darius Ciraco or Brandon Revenberg to that position, leaving one of the two guard spots open. Hamilton could also potentially play O’Donnell at left tackle in place of Mathews. O’Donnell might be out of Hamilton’s price range, but I think he would fit in quite nicely in the ‘Hammer’.

Cameron Judge

With Jeremiah Masoli and Bryan Burnham re-signing with both Hamilton and BC respectively, my number one free agent is linebacker Cam Judge.

The 26-year-old Judge proved he was one of the top defensive players in the league in 2019, registering 61 tackles, five sacks and two interceptions, including one that went for a touchdown that clinched first place in the West Division for the Riders. In 2018 he had 41 defensive tackles to go along with two sacks. Judge missed most of his rookie season in 2016, only suiting up for three games, but he has only missed one game in the past two seasons. He is a high impact player, who holds a Canadian passport and should make a massive difference on any team.

Prediction: Toronto. I have been a little Saskatchewan-heavy in my predictions, so while I think the Riders would be making a big mistake letting Judge go, a team that I could see pursuing him is Toronto. They’ve already lured the likes of Charelston Hughes and Dariusz Bladek due in part to John Murphy, who spent three seasons as the Riders assistant general manager and they seemingly have money to throw around in order to better their 4-14 record in 2019. I think Judge is a fit in the Argonauts defence.

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